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Category Archives: RIGHT AND WRONG


And those dammed Democrats think they know more than the rest of us.  That they are smarter than we are.  That they know and understand the Constitution better than we do.


The Constitution was written by the Founding Fathers for a new country and its CITIZENS.

CITIZENS, not for foreign terrorists or illegal aliens.  Those terrorists currently set to be brought to New York for trial in civil courts. These are enemy combatants, they have no civil rights as applied to citizens and legal, foreign, residents.

Rep. Kucinich Says Everyone, Including Osama Bin Laden, Should Get the Same ‘Basic Rights’
Monday, November 23, 2009
By Nick Ballasy

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)

( – When asked whether al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden should have the right to remain silent and be given a lawyer, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) told that everyone who is accused of a crime should have the same “basic rights” afforded by the U.S. Constitution..

On Capitol Hill on Nov. 19, asked Kucinich, “If and when the U.S. captures Osama Bin Laden, should he have the right to remain silent and be given a lawyer–told he can get a lawyer?”

Kucinich said: “I think that America does best when the values that we want other nations to share that we profess and stand by, and I think that every one who is accused of a crime should have the basic rights that are afforded. I mean, that’s what America’s about.”

“We can’t have one set of rules there and another set of rules there,” said Kucinich. “America is one set of rules. We abide by the Constitution, and I think that Constitution is our protection now and in the future.”

When asked the same question by on Nov. 19, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “Well, let’s see, how many years has it been? Nine, eight years. Let’s worry about capturing Bin Laden and not worry about your, your question.”

During a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 18, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked Attorney General Eric Holder several questions about how the capture and legal handling of Osama Bin Laden might be handled and warned that, in his opinion, the United States is “making bad history” by trying 9/11 suspect Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a civilian court.

When Graham asked whether the U.S. would try Bin Laden in a civilian court or military commission, Holder said he “didn’t know” and that the U.S. would have to “go through our protocol” before deciding what to do with the Islamic terrorist.

“If we captured bin Laden tomorrow, would he be entitled to Miranda warnings at the moment of capture?” Graham asked Holder. Holder’s response was “that all depends,” and Graham warned that the Obama administration’s new legal policy would confuse the military and the justice system.

“Well, it does not ‘depend,’” the senator said. “The big problem I have is that you’re criminalizing the war, that if we caught bin Laden tomorrow, we’d have mixed theories and we couldn’t turn him over—to the CIA, the FBI or military intelligence—for an interrogation on the battlefield, because now we’re saying that he is the subject to criminal court in the United States.

“And you’re confusing the people fighting this war,” Graham charged. Later, the senator added, “The only point I’m making (is) that if we’re going to use federal court as a disposition for terrorists, you take everything that comes with being in federal court.”

Holder announced last Friday that he had chosen to try Mohammed in federal court in the Southern District of New York, which includes Manhattan, where the attacks on the World Trade Center occurred in 2001.

Rep. Kucinich Says Everyone, Including Osama Bin Laden, Should Get the Same ‘Basic Rights’
Monday, November 23, 2009
By Nick Ballasy

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)

( – When asked whether al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden should have the right to remain silent and be given a lawyer, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) told that everyone who is accused of a crime should have the same “basic rights” afforded by the U.S. Constitution..

On Capitol Hill on Nov. 19, asked Kucinich, “If and when the U.S. captures Osama Bin Laden, should he have the right to remain silent and be given a lawyer–told he can get a lawyer?”

Kucinich said: “I think that America does best when the values that we want other nations to share that we profess and stand by, and I think that every one who is accused of a crime should have the basic rights that are afforded. I mean, that’s what America’s about.”

“We can’t have one set of rules there and another set of rules there,” said Kucinich. “America is one set of rules. We abide by the Constitution, and I think that Constitution is our protection now and in the future.”

When asked the same question by on Nov. 19, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “Well, let’s see, how many years has it been? Nine, eight years. Let’s worry about capturing Bin Laden and not worry about your, your question.”

During a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 18, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked Attorney General Eric Holder several questions about how the capture and legal handling


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The resignation of avowed communist Van Jones has plenty of people feeling that the future of the country is a bit safer. And it is an interesting “coincidence” that the attendees of the Cincinnati Tea Party demanded his resignation on Saturday, and then it was announced on Sunday.

The newest threat to the free market system and to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, according to many conservatives is the appointment of Cass Sunstein as the regulatory czar. describes him as “left of center, ” and has reported that he is as a, “progressive. ” Some of his academic writings apparently favor animal rights above human rights to the point of arguing the defense of animal rights over human rights in a court of law.

He’s not known for being a supporter of the second amendment, which is the right to keep and bear arms, and that disturbs ranchers who want to protect their cattle, those who are interested to have a gun on hand to protect their family, and those who are hunters. has also stated that, Sunstein has “spent years delving into the obscure issues of regulatory law and behavioral economics,” which is a deep concern for conservatives who are supporters of the free market system, and the fact that he has, “embraced a controversial ‘senior death discount’ ” is of great concern to those who are pro life. Somehow, the words ‘senior death discount’ sounds an awful lot like the death panels in the healthcare bill.

Interestingly, reported on Wednesday that Representative Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), “called for President Obama’s ‘czars,’ or appointed high-level advisers, to testify before Congress about their ‘authority and responsibilities’ in the executive branch.”

The question of the legitimacy of their authority is a good one. Especially since Article II section 2 of the Constitution states that, “…he (the President) shall nominate, and  by and with the Advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law” (emphasis added). In other words, the czars need to be confirmed by the Senate. And if the Senate doesn’t confirm them, they have no business standing in the positions to which they have been appointed.

To make matters even more interesting, there is a bill named HR 3226, also known as the “Czar Accountability Act of 2009.”  This particular bill states that, “appropriated funds may not be used to pay for any salaries or expenses of any task force, council, or similar office which is established by or at the direction of the President and headed by an individual who has been inappropriately appointed to such position…without the advice and consent of the Senate.”  The bill was introduced in the House on July 15, 2009 by Rep. Jack Kingston and is being supported by many in the House. It would be in the best interest of “We the People” to demand that it be made into a law.

Similar Articles:

Tea Party attendees demand Van Jones resignation, and it happens
Socialism in America is unconstitutional
Congressman says Obama has potential to ‘make himself a dictator’
Senate’s fiscal irresponsibility is scaring the UN
Former communist turned Christian organizes interdenominational group in Prayer for Nation

Websites of possible interest: (HR 3226: Czar Accountability & Reform)

Saudi Judge–>Its OK To Slap Your Wife

Posted: 10 May 2009 12:40 PM PDT

Islam has a very low opinion of women. Take for example these quotes from the holy Hadith text:

  • Bukhari (48:826) Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: The Prophet said, “Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?” The women said, “Yes.” He said, “This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.”
  • Tabari I:280 “’I must also make Eve (bad word), although I created her intelligent.’ Because Allah afflicted Eve, all of the women of this world menstruate and are (bad word).”)…happy, content…utterly incapable from intellectual weakness…never to give us trouble…

One may think that being an ancient text, Islam would have changed its view about women in the intervening years. NO WAY !

A Saudi Arabian Judge was teaching  a seminar on domestic violence an he says that it is OK to smack your wife if she spends too much money. Hey, Happy Mother’s Day from the religion of peace:

Slapping a wife ‘is okay’

Riyadh – A Saudi judge has told a seminar on domestic violence that it is okay for a man to slap his wife for lavish spending, a local newspaper reported on Sunday.

Jeddah judge Hamad al-Razine gave the example of overspending to buy a high-end abaya, the head-to toe black shroud Saudi women have to wear in public, as justifying a smack for one’s wife, Arab News said.

“If a person gives 1 200 riyals ($320) to his wife and she spends 900 riyals ($240) to purchase an abaya from a brand shop, and if her husband slaps her on the face as a reaction to her action, she deserves that punishment,” he said.

The judge’s remarks sparked an outcry at the seminar on the role of judicial and security officials in preventing domestic violence, the paper reported.

The seminar was attended by officials as well as activists on domestic violence, including representatives of the National Family Safety Programme.

Razine acknowledged the depth of the problem of domestic violence, until recently not acknowledged as a serious issue in the ultra-conservative Muslim country, where family problems traditionally remained behind closed doors.

Saudi women have in the past few years become more vocal about the problem of husbands beating wives and fathers mistreating children.

But Razine said some of the blame must be shouldered by wives for their behaviour. “Nobody puts even a fraction of the blame on them,” he said, according to the report.

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An Empathetic Judge is Unconstitutional

Posted: 10 May 2009 05:16 PM PDT

Justice is not supposed to be “empathetic” as President Obama has said, Just ice is supposed to be blind. The law should be viewed objectively. That is the idea behind the United States Supreme Court motto “Equal Justice Under Law.”These words,written above the main entrance to the Supreme  Court Building, express the ultimate responsibility of the Supreme Court of the United States. It is also symbolized by the blindfolded statue of Lady Justice which is the symbol of the US judiciary.

Each federal justice or judge takes the following oath or affirmation before performing the duties of his office:

“I, XXX XXX, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as XXX under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

President Obama’s search for an empathetic judge runs counter to 233 years of American Tradition and the US Constitution:

Lady Justice’s blindfold

By Jeff Jacoby,

JUDICIAL dispassion – the ability to decide cases without being influenced by personal feelings or political preferences – is indispensable to the rule of law. So indispensable, in fact, that the one-sentence judicial oath required of every federal judge and justice contains no fewer than three expressions of it: “I . . . do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me . . . under the Constitution and laws of the United States, so help me God.”

There are biblical echoes in the wording of that oath – a reminder that the judge’s obligation to decide cases on the basis of fact and law, without regard to the litigants’ wealth or fame or social status, is a venerable moral principle.

“You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike,” says Moses in Deuteronomy, instructing the Israelite judges. “You shall not distort justice; you shall not respect persons, and you shall not take a bribe.”

Elsewhere they are reminded that it is not only the rich they are forbidden to favor. “Neither shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute,” Exodus firmly warns. Judges may not bend the law, not even to help the underprivileged.

Without judicial restraint there is no rule of law. We live under “a government of laws and not of men” only so long as judges stick to neutrally resolving the disputes before them, applying the law, and upholding the Constitution even when doing so leads to results they personally dislike. That is why the judicial oath is so adamant about impartiality. That is why Lady Justice is so frequently depicted – as on the sculpted lampposts outside the US Supreme Court – wearing a blindfold and carrying balanced scales.

And that is why President Obama’s “empathy” standard is so disturbing, and has generated so much comment.

Time and again, Obama has called for judges who do not put their private political views aside when deciding cases. In choosing a replacement for Justice David Souter, the president says, he will seek not just “excellence and integrity,” but a justice whose “quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles,” would be “an essential ingredient” in his jurisprudence. In an interview last year, he said he would look for judges “sympathetic” to those “on the outside, those who are vulnerable, those who are powerless.”

When he voted against the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts in 2005, Obama declared that the “truly difficult” cases that come before the Supreme Court can be decided only with reference to “the depth and breadth of one’s empathy,” and that “the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge’s heart.”

But such cardiac justice is precisely what judges “do solemnly swear” to renounce. Sympathy for others is an admirable virtue. But a judge’s private commiserations are not relevant to the law he is expected to apply.

If Obama means what he says, he wants judges who will violate their oath of office.

“We need somebody who’s got the heart – the empathy – to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom,” he told a Planned Parenthood conference in 2007. “The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.”

With such criteria, what would remain of the rule of law? What would happen to “Equal Justice Under Law,” which is carved above the Supreme Court’s entrance? What would be left of the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws” to every citizen?

Lady Justice wears a blindfold not because she has no empathy for certain litigants or groups of people, but because there is no role for such empathy in a courtroom.

“Our constitution is color-blind,” wrote Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan, in his great dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson, “and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” Harlan had supported slavery; he believed whites were superior to nonwhites. He had his empathies, but he confined his judging to the law.

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Tampa Mayor Honors Extremism

By Joe Kaufman | Thursday, December 04, 2008

In April of 2007, Pam Iorio was sworn into office for her second term as Mayor of Tampa Bay, Florida, given the confidence of Tampa’s citizens that she will help protect them from harm. Yet every year for at least the last four years of the six-plus years she has served, Mayor Iorio has honored CAIR, a radical Muslim organization, with a Proclamation naming a day for the group. Is the Mayor just trying to placate a fringe constituency or has she submitted to terror?

Tampa has had an Islamic terrorism problem for more than two decades. Elements of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have infected the population, rendering it vulnerable to those who wish to do harm to the city.

From August of 1986 till February of 2003, when he was taken into custody by law enforcement, Sami Al-Arian, a university professor, built an entire PIJ infrastructure within the Tampa area. He did so in the guise of a charity, a think tank, a children’s school and a mosque — the latter two still in existence.

Youssef Megahed and Ahmed Mohamed, Tampa-area university students, were arrested in South Carolina, in August of 2007, and indicted for possession of explosive materials which were found in the trunk of their car. Mohamed later pled guilty to a separate charge of trying to assist terrorists by creating a video demonstrating how to use a remote-controlled toy to detonate a bomb.

From June of 2004 till July of 2006, the Tampa office of the Muslim American Society (MAS-Tampa) posted onto its website violent material, including one text calling on Muslims to “wage jihad until death.” Other subjects found on the site dealt with the beheading of Jews and the burning of homosexuals.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group created by Hamas operatives, set up shop in Tampa, in 2003, led by the unofficial spokesman for Al-Arian, Ahmed Bedier. Bedier is notorious for a remark he made about PIJ, on a Tampa TV talk show, in December of 2005. Appearing as a CAIR representative, when asked if he believed it was immoral to be associated with PIJ, he said that, prior to 1995, there was “nothing immoral” about it.

Unfortunately, some politicians ignore the actions of extremists and give the groups and individuals a free pass. Sometimes, they even honor them.

A little over a month after his disastrous statement, in January of 2006, Bedier shared the stage with Mayor Iorio, at an evening event honoring the memory of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Earlier in the day, a photo was taken of the two, smiling for the camera with their arms around each other. Under the photo, which is found on Bedier’s personal website, he writes, “Enjoying the morning with City of Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio…”

This was not Mayor Iorio’s first involvement with CAIR. On October 1, 2005, the Mayor attended CAIR-Tampa’s 3rd Annual Fundraising Banquet. While there, she told the crowd, “I want all of you to know how much I appreciate being here tonight and all of the good work that you do.” According to the St. Petersburg Times, she then “turned the stage over to Hillsborough County Commissioner Kathy Castor, who read Iorio’s proclamation of Oct. 1 as ‘CAIR Day’…”

Mayor Iorio had honored CAIR — a group that had been founded by leaders of the American propaganda wing of Hamas, a group that had been established as part of the global head of Hamas Mousa Abu Marzook’s Palestine Committee, a group that had a number of representatives that were convicted and/or deported for terror-related crimes — with a signed Mayoral Proclamation.

And not only did she sign a Proclamation for “CAIR Day” in 2005, but she did it for 2006, 2007 and 2008, as well. And each one coincided with the date of CAIR-Tampa’s banquet — providing evidence of coordinated efforts between Mayor Iorio and CAIR — the latest being November 15, 2008.

When Mayor Iorio signed both the 2007 and 2008 Proclamations for CAIR, it was at a time when the group was named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” by the U.S. Justice Department for a federal trial dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. On November 24, 2008, the trial ended, and all of the defendants were found guilty on all counts. That means CAIR was found guilty as well, albeit as an unindicted entity. Now more than ever, Mayor Iorio must withdraw the award she has granted CAIR.

Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate, the founder of CAIR Watch, and the spokesman for Terror-Free Oil Initiative.

By Mark D. Tooley | 11/12/2008

Has the Millennium arrived?  Maybe Barak Obama’s election to the presidency is giving the Religious Left at least a foretaste of it.  After stewing with anger across 8 years in the wilderness, liberal prelates are shouting Hosanna in expectation of spiritual enlightenment during the Obama reign.

“We at the National Council of Churches urge all Americans to come together to uphold you with our hands, our hearts and our prayers,” the NCC’s chief, Michael Kinnamon wrote his congratulatory letter to Obama.  The NCC, previously the voice of America’s premier religious denominations, once truly walked in the corridors of power.  It has never fully accepted its transition from mainline to sideline in America’s religious demographic.  As recently as 1995, the NCC was invited to the White House to “pray” for President Clinton as he was resisting the new Republican Congress.  No doubt, the NCC is praying that its White House visitation rights will soon be restored.

Until recently headed by a former Democratic congressman, the NCC’s new chief is an actual theologian and potentially less political.  But even Rev. Kinnamon could not suppress his excitement.  “The leaders of this Council pledge to you our unstinting support in the difficult days to come,” he promised Obama.  “All of us are dependent on God’s loving mercy, and we will regularly pray for you and others elected to high leadership. May your wisdom and discernment serve you well, and may your health never wane.”

More typically, clergy would pray that God would grant a leader “wisdom and discernment.”  But since Obama so clearly is already blessed with both in abundance, the Rev. Kinnamon prayed more directly that these obviously pre-existing ample attributes would “serve you well.” He helpfully informed Obama that the NCC is standing “ready to work with you to respond to the realities that a loving God places before us each day.”  And he shared that the justice principles that guide the NCC include “equal opportunities for justice, shelter, education, and health care” and the assertion that “war, even when it is necessary to defend ourselves or the weak or the oppressed, is never the will of God.”  Nearly every one of the NCC’s over 30 member Protestant and Orthodox communions historically have subscribed to Christianity’s Just War Tradition, which sometimes commands war as an imperative for justice.  But Rev. Kinnamon, in typical Religious Left fashion, ignored his own tradition, and sophistically assumed that war is “never the will of God.”

Maybe even more excitable than the NCC was the United Methodist Council of Bishops, who were meeting in Georgia during the election, and could barely contain their joy.  Although President Bush is the first Methodist president since William McKinley, he was the target of routine denunciations by United Methodist officials.  The Bush White House responded by not issuing as many invites to the church’s officials as the bishops and others seemed to expect.   So, understandably, according to the United Methodist News Service, the bishops were “jubilant” over Obama’s election and “celebrated” with “tears, hymns and prayers,” while “while affirming his vision of change for the nation ‘based on hope for all the people, especially those who are disinherited and disenfranchised.'”

The church’s news report described the bishops behaving after Election Day almost as though it were Easter morning after Good Friday.  Amid all the joy, the bishops “hugged and many cried,” while “holding hands,” [and] they sang ‘My Lord, What a Morning’ and the Negro anthem ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ while many chanted ‘Yes, we did!’-the phrase echoed during Obama’s acceptance speech the night before.”

United Methodism’s chief lobbyist on Capitol Hill, Jim Winkler, who once called for President Bush’s impeachment before retracting the call amid controversy, was also looking forward to ending his exile from White House events.  “Barack Obama is a person of deep faith,” he enthused. “I was reminded of that fact last night when he made sure the (election night) festivities in Grant Park began with an invocation. I fully expect The United Methodist Church, for the first time in many years, will be welcomed in the White House.”

Another likely White House religious visitor during the Obama years is Sojourners chief Jim Wallis, who has been feverishly attempting to create an Evangelical Left that would undermine evangelicals’ traditional conservative voting habits.  This new Evangelical Left, largely a repackaging of the old Religious Left for a new audience that cannot remember the 1960’s, wants to persuade evangelicals that Global Warming and opposing U.S. military actions is more important than upholding traditional marriage or opposing abortion.

Wallis claimed that his campaign was successful.  “Polls leading up to the election showed a significant break from the previous generation on issues like gay marriage and abortion, which while still a top concern, it is not the only one,” he rejoiced.  “For those Christians, sanctity of life now includes poverty, war, genocide, and climate change. Healthy families are also still a top concern, but many Christians don’t see gay and lesbian rights as a primary cause of family breakdown.”  Wallis, an old 1960’s student radical who now wants to be seen as a soothing centrist, claimed, “These religious voters refuse to be distracted by the culture wars of the previous generation.”

According to Wallis, “This changing face of religion in America gave Barack Obama a 4.4 million voter net gain of Protestants and Catholics over John Kerry and helped lock up key swing states across the country.” He cited increased evangelical support for Obama over John Kerry in 2004 in states such as Colorado and Indiana. There is some truth in Wallis’ claim.  But the broader truth is that John McCain, whose almost abject refusal to discuss his own religious faith, still received 74 percent of the white evangelical vote, compared to Bush’s 79 percent.  Bill Clinton, who received about 30 percent of the evangelical vote, outperformed Obama.  White evangelicals comprise about one quarter of the electorate.

As to the Mainline Protestants, whose representatives at the NCC at the United Methodist Church were so beside themselves, they too seemed to have preferred McCain over Obama.  According to exit polls, non-evangelical Protestants favored McCain by 54 percent, compared to 56 percent for Bush in 2004.  Obama’s share of this group was 44 percent, identical to John Kerry’s.  Among all religious Americans, those who worship weekly or more preferred McCain by 55 percent, versus 43 percent for Obama.  Obama’s biggest gains were among the religiously unaffiliated, 75 percent of whom preferred him, compared to 67 percent for Kerry in 2004.

Seemingly, Jim Wallis and other fixtures of the Religious Left are attempting to persuade religious Americans to vote more like non-religious Americans.  But Wallis, as he prepares for impending White House audiences, is unlikely to market his appeal so starkly.

Mark D. Tooley directs the United Methodist committee at the Institute on Religion and Democracy.


UK:Worries That the London Olympics Might Offend Muslims

Posted: 28 Oct 2008 09:15 PM CDT

Over the years the United Kingdom has made a habit of catering to Muslims more than any other group of people in the UK. Some extraordinary examples of this are giving Muslims special housing with toilets that face away from Mecca and kitchens that are specially designed for halal cuisine . The UK has refurbished prisons by making sure that the toilets do not face Mecca.

More and more public schools there are only serving halal meat with no concern for the beliefs of the non-Muslims who attend the school .

The UK has even built a cemetery where all the deceased including Christians and Jews are buried in accordance to Islamic tradition as Muslims believe that the dead have look over their shoulder towards Mecca.

Now the Kingdom is considering taking the catering to the Islamic community to a new level, as talks are being held to discuss on how to reduce tensions between the police and Muslims during the upcoming London Olympics in 2112. They are concerned that the games will clash with the Islamic month of Ramadan.

Scotland Yard has even joined in with the bowing down to Islam by hiring Islamic scholar Michael Mumisa on how to deal with the issue, the issue which should be a non-issue. Mr. Mumisa has said that the commemoration of 11 Israeli athletes killed during the Munich games by Palestinian terrorists might offend Muslims. Maybe the Islamic scholar would like for the UK just cancel the Olympics, this way Muslims are not offended. Before it is too late the leaders of the UK need to realize that the UK is their country and stop asking Muslims what needs to be done to please Islam.

Now this is just my opinion–but the only politicking that should be done on public school property (property paid for and maintained by tax payer’s money) are class elections and student body elections.  City, county, state and Federal  elections need to be kept personal and private while being paid by the parents of the students.  Mock elections??  Definitely, with teachers and other staff members remaining neutral advisers and mediators.  For teachers and other staff members to push personal agendas on tax payers time is WRONG.







by Emily Jane Goodman
October 2008

Photo (cc) by Marilyn M

In the final days of the hotly contested and contentious presidential campaign, three New York City public school teachers and their union president commenced a federal lawsuit claiming a violation of their constitutional rights. The question was whether the school chancellor could bar plaintiffs from using union bulletin boards in schools to post political material; whether candidate-based political materials could be placed in mailboxes in Department of Education buildings; and the hot button issue of whether teachers could wear political campaign buttons in school.

The answer from a federal district judge in Manhattan was yes and no. Yes, the Department of Education can ban the wearing of buttons, and no, teachers and their union cannot be banned from displaying or disseminating political material on candidates in school on their bulletin boards in schools or among themselves. The result is that the judge denied in part and granted in part a request for an injunction against the city’s enforcement of its regulations.

The school chancellor’s regulations state that “while on duty or in contact with students, all school personnel shall maintain a posture of complete neutrality with respect to all candidates.” Another section of the regulation says, “No material supporting any candidate … may be distributed, posted or displayed.”

The Legal History

Judge Lewis Kaplan agreed, and the city did not dispute, that an unconstitutional infringement of First Amendments rights would cause irreparable harm to the plaintiffs and all teachers. However, citing a series of cases that reached the U.S. Supreme Court, the judge concluded that the plaintiffs would be unable to establish that their freedom of speech or expression had been denied if they could not wear buttons on the job.

The judge referred to a case in which Supreme Court held that a public school could restrict a teacher’s speech regarding matters of public concern only if the speech would harm the school’s ability to operate efficiently or the teacher’s ability to perform his or her job. That case involved a teacher who was fired for writing a letter to a newspaper criticizing the school system. The court found that the letter writing, which did not take place in the school, did not interfere with the school’s mission.

Kaplan also looked to Tinker v. Des Moines, a famous case in which the issue was whether students, while in class, had the right to wear black armbands to protest the war in Vietnam. There, the Supreme Court concluded that the constitutional rights of the students could not be stopped “at the schoolhouse gate,” and found in their favor, with the warning that free expression could be limited only if it interfered with school work or with other students. In a third case, which, as Kaplan put it, the plaintiffs invited him to follow, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a high school teacher could not be suspended for wearing a black armband in a similar protest of the Vietnam war, since it did not disrupt the educational mandate.

Kaplan took a different view, relying on another line of cases which concluded that school boards have the right to determine what is inappropriate in their classrooms and that reasonable restrictions could be imposed where they relate to legitimate pedagogical concerns. He emphasized the determination that students should not be exposed to views that they might attribute to the school rather than to an individual teacher.

In his ruling, the judge adopted this more recent reasoning, rather than the cases plaintiffs relied on. The judge borrowed the language of a California case that also involved teachers wearing political buttons during working hours. “Public school authorities may reasonably conclude it is not possible to both permit instructors to engage in classroom political activity and at the same time successfully disassociate the school from such advocacy” without the school board having to establish the disruptive nature of the activity or the wearing of buttons, Kaplan said quoting the California Court of Appeals.

Kaplan also looked favorably to a 2007 case in which another federal court upheld a school board decision not to renew the contract of a probationary elementary school teacher who had taken a political position in class. There, the court reasoned that students are a “captive audience,” and said as an aside that a teacher’s views could lead to “indoctrination.”

Official Position?

In the recent New York case, known as Weingarten v. Board of Education of New York City, the school system feared that some students would misunderstand the personal nature of the buttons, and that the greater goal was to avoid “the entanglement of their public educational mission with partisan politics.” The judge found no evidence that political buttons appearing in the classroom would lead students or their parents to the conclusion that they were expressing the views of the school system. Still, the question remained as to what authority the Department of Education has, and the opinion in Weingarten is that the buttons “might reasonably be perceived to bear the school’s imprimatur or otherwise interfere with the accomplishment of defendants’ public role.”

In other words, the prevention of that possible perception would trump the First Amendment argument. This is based on the theory that the department has the expertise to determine the “needs, capabilities and vulnerabilities” of the school population, although the judge cautioned, in a kind of risk benefit analysis, that there was a balance to be achieved, which had to include the “sensitivity of [the department’s] judgment to First Amendment values.”

As far as the wearing of buttons, Kaplan concluded that the restrictions were reasonable and “reflect a good faith judgment by the defendants in their professional capacities about the impact of teachers’ political campaign buttons in the school rather than a covert attempt to favor one viewpoint over another or a willingness to paint with too broad a brush.”

Further, the judge decided, that in this instance, the Department of Education deserves the court’s deference. To counter that, the teachers and their union would have had to have shown there was a likelihood that they could establish that the ban on the button was unconstitutional. Kaplan decided they had not done that and so he denied the plaintiffs an injunction against the ban.

On the question of disseminating information to teachers in the school building but not in the classroom and not to students, the court reached a different temporary conclusion that will be considered as the litigation continues after Election Day.

Emily Jane Goodman is a New York State Supreme Court Justice

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In Defense of “The Rich”
Larry Elder
Thursday, October 09, 2008

So, what do “the rich” pay in federal income taxes? Nothing, right? That, at least, is what most people think. And Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama wants to raise the top marginal rate for “the rich” — known in some quarters as “job creators.”

A recent poll commissioned by Investor’s Business Daily asked, in effect, “What share do you think the rich pay?” Their findings? Most people are completely clueless about the amount the rich actually do pay.

First, the data. The top 5 percent (those making more than $153,542 — the group whose taxes Obama seeks to raise) pay 60 percent of all federal income taxes. The rich (aka the top 1 percent of income earners, those making more than $388,806 a year), according to the IRS, pay 40 percent of all federal income taxes. The top 1 percent’s taxes comprise 17 percent of the federal government’s revenue from all sources, including corporate taxes, excise taxes, social insurance and retirement receipts.

Now, what do people think the rich pay? The IBD/TIPP poll found that 36 percent of those polled thought the rich contribute 10 percent or less of all federal income taxes. Another 15 percent thought the rich pay between 10 and 20 percent, while another 10 percent thought the rich’s share is between 20 and 30 percent. In other words, most people thought the rich pay less — far less — than they actually do. Only 12 percent of those polled thought the rich pay more than 40 percent.

Let’s try this another way. A U.S. News & World Report blogger went to the Democratic National Convention in Denver and conducted an informal poll of 24 DNC delegates. He asked them, “What should ‘the rich’ pay in income taxes?” Half the respondents said “25 percent”; 25 percent said “20 percent”; 12 percent said “30 percent”; and another 12 percent said “35 percent.” The average DNC delegate wanted the rich to pay 25.6 percent, which is lower than what the rich pay now — both by share of taxes and by tax rate!

Thirty percent of American voters pay nothing — zero, zip, nada — in federal income taxes. And, not too surprisingly, compared with taxpaying voters, they are more likely to support spending that benefits them. The majority of the 30 percent who don’t pay federal income taxes agree with Obama’s $65 billion plan to institute taxpayer-funded universal health coverage. But the majority of the 70 percent who pay federal income taxes are opposed to Obama’s health care plan.

Non-taxpayers support Obama’s plans for increased tax deductions for lower-income Americans, along with higher overall tax rates levied against middle- and upper-income households. The majority of non-taxpayers (57 percent) also favor raising the individual income-tax rate for those in the highest bracket from 35 percent to 54 percent. And the majority (59 percent) favors raising Social Security taxes by 4 percent for any individual or business that makes at least $250,000.

Obama calls increasing taxes and giving them to the needy a matter of “neighborliness.” Vice presidential running mate Joe Biden calls it a matter of “patriotism.”

Yet when it comes to charitable giving, neither Obama (until recently) nor Biden feels sufficiently neighborly or patriotic to donate as much as does the average American household: 2 percent of their adjusted gross income.

Liberal families earn about 6 percent more than conservative families, yet conservative households donate about 30 percent more to charity than do liberal households. And conservatives give more than just to their own churches and other houses of worship. Conservatives, especially religious conservatives, give far more money and donate more of their time to nonreligious charitable causes than do liberals — especially secular liberals.

In 2007, President George W. Bush and his wife had an adjusted gross income of $923,807. They paid $221,635 in taxes, and donated $165,660 to charity — or 18 percent of their income. Vice President and Mrs. Cheney, in 2007, had a taxable income of $3.04 million. And they paid $602,651 in taxes, and donated $166,547 to charity — or 5.5 percent of their income.

Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, earned between $200,000 and $300,000 a year between 2000 and 2004, and they donated less than 1 percent to charity. When their income soared to $4.2 million in 2007, their charitable contributions went up to 5 percent.

Joe and Jill Biden, by contrast, made $319,853 and gave $995 to charity in 2007, or 0.3 percent of their income. And that was during the year Biden was running for president. Over the past 10 years, the Bidens earned $2,450,042 and gave $3,690 to charity — or 0.1 percent of their income.

So let’s sum up. The “compassionate” liberals — at least based on charitable giving — show less compassion than “hardhearted” conservatives. The rich pay more in income taxes than people think. Voters, clueless about the facts, want the rich to pay still more.

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